Nigeria has highest number of out-of-school children in sub-Sahara region- Minister

Nigeria has highest number of out-of-school children in sub-Sahara region- Minister

By Faith Awa Maji, Katsina

Minister of Education for State, Chukwuemaka Nwajuba today Monday told the gathering at the official flagging off ceremony of Better Education Service Delivery for All, BESDA, in Katsina State that, in sub-Saharan region of Africa, Nigeria has the highest number of out-of-school children while Katsina State ranked 2nd in the country.

Katsina State is one of such States with the highest number of out-of- school children, which was the reason FG has launched unprecedented program, ‘Better Education Service Delivery for All (BESDA)’. Purportedly to reduce number of out of school children in the focus states, which becomes a menace to the nation.

The Federal Government of Nigeria is addressing the issue with the assistance of World Bank; hence it is imperative to state that, the BESDA Program Development Objective (PDO) is to increase access, improve literacy and system strengthening/accountability in participating states.

According to the Minister, education is critical in nation building, and hence Federal government is poised in making Nigeria a viable nation by producing man power that would drive the country forward.

“The technical support of education and development of children in Nigeria, through other similar program and project, have also yielded results.

“Education, in itself, is critical for national development. It is the only way we produce adequate man power to run out of country. It is a well-known fact that no nation can arise above the level of educational development. For any country to develop at all, you must have a well equip and develop system that prepare its people with adequate knowledge that will enable them to take competitive advantage of the 21st world century knowledge-driven economy”.

Chukwuemaka Nwajuba said he was delighted by the bold step taken by Katsina State Governor in line with the FG led by President Muhammadu Buhari taking to alleviate discourse and product in education, especially in Katsina State.

“Since you took over power, in Katsina State in the past 6 years, there has been a tremendous growth both in number, quality and quantity of people and personnel on education”.

Governor Aminu Bello Masari of Katsina State, on his part, said that the State government has strengthened basic education in terms of employment of adequate education teachers. “A total of 3753 teachers were employed to boost the quality of education in addition to 5000 S-Power teachers were recruited to enhanced the basic sector of education.

“The effort made in this sector has improved the basic and secondary school education. The performance of Katsina State students in secondary school examination from 2015 to 2020 has significantly improved from only 19% to 72.2% in 2020. From 2015 to 2020, Katsina State has settled examination of over 397,684 students in SSCE examination”, according to Gov Masari.

Earlier, the Katsina State Commissioner for Education, Associate Prof. Badamsi Lawal said “It is therefore in line with the PDO, three Result Areas were identified to guide its implementation, Increasing Equitable Access for the out-of-school children. Improving literacy rates in the State, System Strengthening and Accountability in Basic education.

“The Flag-off of BESDA should have come earlier before the commencement of the program, but due to circumstances beyond our
control, we are witnessing it today, when implementation has gone far. Many activities in regard to awareness campaigns and advocates have been conducted to make it quite known to the
citizens of Katsina State”.

Associate Prof. Badamsi Lawal noted that the design of the program which is Pay for Result (PR) has made its operation unique that motivates Katsina State to strive more in achieving the desired objectives and to withstand the challenges.

He highlighted the achievements of BESDA program in Katsina State include, reduction of out of school children to the tune of 361,052, intensive literacy program using Reading And Numeracy Activity (RANA) and Jolly Phonics models in Hausa and English
languages respectively.